Tuesday, August 20, 2013

The Bucket List

Admittedly, we were dirty fighters while we were married. I was the queen of sarcasm, while Wingman's weapon of choice was blaming. He gave up playing in a band to marry me, his film editing career in NYC to be close to the kids and worked a job he particularly didn't enjoy to allow us to live the lives we lived.  I'm not going to say that his arguments were totally unfounded, yet I would counter that everyone makes compromises and sacrifices in life.

When Wingman died, I thought about all the things we said we were going to do and never did.  Early on, we were fortunate enough to be able to travel because of one of my jobs.  But looking back, there were a lot of years that I can't remember a single trip, vacation or otherwise important occasion.  That's sad for both us and for the kids.

He was not a man who liked Christmas at all, which was my favorite holiday to indulge is special gifts. One year, it was giving him a week at a Yankees Fantasy Camp.  Wingman would spend seven days playing with old timers like Joe Pepitone, Mel Stotllemyre and especially his all time favorite Yankee, Reggie Jackson. He'd get his own uniform, a video of playing and autographs of all the Yanks.  He made excuses why he couldn't go for two years until finally, I got a refund.  He said he always wanted to act, especially in TV commercials, so another year, we gave him acting lessons.  I bought a session for him to make his own craft beers.  Most recently, the boys and I gave him golf lessons.  That certificate is still hanging on the fridge. For whatever his reason, he never took advantage of these life-enhancing experiences.  Perhaps he was afraid he would fail at them. Probably, he knew they were just a band aid covering something deeper and darker.

Last year's I made a New Years resolution to do just ONE thing-cultural, social, physical each month so I could look back on the year and say it wasn't a waste. So far I've succeeded to the point that son #3 questions if I'm ever going to stay home.  But in order to really move forward, I need to answer the question that was posed by a fellow-blogger last month: what would you do if you weren't afraid to fail?

Being a widow, it may not be all about fearing to fail. It might just be fearing to do it on my own. So I wrote down the things I dream of doing, alone or with others, in no particular order:

Spend New Years Eve in Times Square, Thanksgiving on 6th Avenue for the parade and Fourth of July on the Hudson for the fireworks.

Spend Valentine's Day in Paris, ride a gondola then dance at the Carnival of Venice, kiss the Blarney Stone, tiptoe through the tulips in Amsterdam.

Visit every state in the United States.  Maybe then go back to a few of my favorites.

Volunteer to make someone's life better, whether it be for a day, a week, a month or more. Make a difference.

Get front row tickets to a Bruce Springsteen concert and be the animated woman that he pulls up on the stage to dance with on "Dancing In The Dark".

Take my sons, daughters-in-law and grand kids on a vacation.  Or two. Or every year.

Write a newspaper column instead of a blog.  Or write a book instead of a newspaper column. Somehow, become a published author. 

Watch someone propose. Just be in that right place at the right time to see it happen.

"Bucket List" sounds too much like I'm looking forward to dying, which is the farthest thing from the truth.  So maybe I'll call this my "Awesome List". Anything that fills my heart and soul with the joys that life has to offer.

And maybe, somewhere between Carnival and Cleveland, is a man who wants to do the same. 


  1. Thank you for your wise words! Yes, what would I do if I wasn't afraid to fail.. story of my ... hopefully past... life.

  2. Wonderful and insightful Barb you rock girl you have the right ideas so go for it all.

    1. Thanks Harry, that's special coming from a man who's living the dream now. your adventures inspire me!

  3. I think I am afraid of being disappointed, so I keep my wishes untapped on the horizon--like the dream/wish is still alive. When I finally take the trip to Tuscany etc., the anticipation is over.

    1. But after Tuscany there's always a new sunset (or sunrise) to be discovered.

  4. Well written Barbara.. you have a gift..

  5. Barb ... Even though I just got back from my grand adventure, reading this really makes me want to start planning my next trip! Thanks for the shout out :)

  6. And thanks for the reference to Wingman in your last post. I like to think we have that (or lack of that) in common!


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